David Bruce


with comments by David Bruce

I receive a lot of e-mail.  I am not able to post all the mail. I have included a good sampling, however.  If the subject is the same I might group the newer messages with similar older ones.  Also, my response may appear a few days after the original posting. I can't do HJ everyday.  You must include your "name" and e-mail address within your comment if you want it posted, otherwise it will not be posted (there is a privacy issue here and we respect that).  I do, however, encourage you to give your "name" and e-mail so others can respond to you personally.
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This page was last updated on August 12, 2002

Subject: Top Ten List
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001
From: Bob

Top Ten Signs You're Watching a Bad Horror Movie
10. Terrifying zombie looks suspiciously like Keith Richards
9. Killer keeps saying, "I know what you had for lunch."
8. When the dead guy's hand reaches up from the grave, all it wants is a "high-five"
7. Instead of a hockey mask, killer wears really frightening sombrero
6. Joe Pesci plays an undead mob boss "Whack-ula"
5. Plot involves guy with allergies stuck on an island inhabited by fluffy kitties
4. Victims keep screaming, "Please kill me -- this movie sucks."
3. Biggest scream comes when movie-goers hear the price of a large popcorn
2. You've seen more blood during a haircut at Supercuts
1. It's just like "Scream", without all the really scary crap
Lifting shadows off a dream once broken,


Subject: Planet of the Apes
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001
From: Rudy

Yah, this one goes out in dedication to "DG".

Planet of the Apes:

1. Rampant religious bias: a great portrayal of what religious commitment sometimes looks like. These gorillas, specifically Michael Clark Duncan's character which was the only religious character with integrity, are extremely militant about executing their beliefs. It is a metaphorical statement about how people with religiously exclusive beliefs (whether that exclusivity be right or wrong) sometimes act toward those who aren't like them and have differing religious views.

2. I don't even know/care about the Goldwater thing, frankly it's irrelevant and seems thrown in to add another point to compensate for a weak argument (i.e. the method some use because they believe that the importance of the number of points made far outweighs the importance of the validity of those points).

3. PETA-polemic - unless the writer(s) of POTA are member(s) of PETA, I do not believe this point has much relevance either. Actually, the whole ape-human reversal seems more obviously a figurative portrayal of ignorant prejudice and abuse of minorities, just as it was in the original movie.

By the way, it would seem to me that the words "sci-fi" and "implausable", when used in a sentence, being that the latter describes the former, create an oxymoron.

Oh yeah, one last thing: MARGINAL ACTING!? Oh wait, maybe you saw the original movie and were told it was the new one. In this reviewers opinion, the acting was supreme with the exception of Mark Wahlberg (although maybe he did his best, I think the role was miscast). Tim Roth and Michael Clark Duncan stole the show with help from other supporting players and a phenomenal cameo by Charleton Heston himself, not to mention some fantastic lines recycled from the original.

Subject: Mithras
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2001
From: C T Blake

While I find your sight interesting, I think you are missing much more than is getting posted on the cross-over myths between Mithraic and Christian thought.

Mithras DOES have a resurrection story- see the stories of Mithras under the mountain (usually associated with Ararat- yup, the Ark one, which explains how it got it's "holy" status)- it also has the Mithraic angle on the end of the world, the last conflicts with Ahriman, etc).

Don't forget that the Symbol always associated with Mithras (aside from the obvious Phrygian cap, bull, dog and the rest of the usual symbology) is-- you guessed it- the cross. Mithraic (as well as other solar cults) used the symbol of the cross as a symbol of the Sun. This also puts an interesting spin on the story of Constantine's cross story....and how his Danubian troops (who already marched under the "Sol Invictis"- Mithras) were able to later convert that Mithraic symbol to a more respectible memory later.

The Cult of Mithras was largely wiped out-- violently-- by the early Christian Church, in violence usually associated with thier internal squabbles. Perhaps they realized that, because they had copped so much from Mithras that they couldn't allow it to survive? It's interesting how most of the Mithraruem we find are under churches, monestaries and nunneries, while the few that aren't are those that had been buried and lost. Somebody was pretty ruthless in wiping out most of the sites of Mithras.
CT Blake Nacogdoches, Texas

Response: Thanks for the additional insight. I appreciate it. -David

Subject: AI_Artificial_Intelligence
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001
From: Darren

Gee, did I ruffle some feathers.. Time to clear some things up.

First of all, I know it's only a movie, only a fairy tale. I merely interpeted it a certian way. I also said what I liked about the film and the building bond between David and his 'brother'. Odd- I get dragged through the mud in your responses, but you don't agree/ disagree much less comment on what I liked. Hmmmm.... (Yeah, I was a little unfair. Sorry)

Second, I don't think Speilberg was INTENTIONALLY doing any slamming on one particular group. This is just the way it came across to me. (Sure, of course. You are honestly reflecting your impression. Nothing wrong with that) Let's say, for the sake of arguement, I was all wrong. Ok. Forget it. Let's look at this: David is "special" he is only mecha "programmed" to love/have feelings. Yet here lies a contradiction: we meet other mechas who also are programmed for the same. That's a contradiction to what was said eariler in the film, there is no other way around it. Also, the scene itself is too long, and something seems a bit contrived when the AI Teddy gets picked up by the girl whose Dad runs the sound/visual boards.

Third, Aliens/ alien mechas. At no point in the film did the "beings" say they were mechas. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say 'ok. The aliens (?) were not aliens, they were mechas.' So what? What difference does it make? They come and rescue him. OK. They project a holographic Blue Fairy to gain his trust. This can be read as deciet. (Or, an honest attempt at communication on his level)

They are trying to bring back humankind. They are still depicted as 'God' like. (Our impressions differ) When I mentioned 'alien' more than once in the previous message, it really got you steamed! Sorry about that. (I over did it to make the point)

Ok, maybe I am overreacting. But so were you. (Ahh, you are giving me something to chew on. Thanks. I always appreciate those who take the time to post thier thoughts)

But overall, this isn't a bad thing. I truly belive this is a film that, like it or leave it, will still spark debate, discussion, and...who knows? It might get a following yet.

And could you please comment on the postive things that I did like? (Yes, I should be more balanced)
Thank you, (and thank you)
Peace Darren J Seeley

Subject: Lord of the Rings
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001
From: "Brian Terrell"

Thank you for the essay. Having read the "Hobbit" and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy as a child and later re-read in high school and college, I never saw them as anything more than well written fantasy. It was only recently that I first heard talk of Tolkien's Christian bent. And like many Christians, I challenged myself to see the God-glory in something I really enjoyed. I could never made it fit.

Following this essay, I would say the spiritual imagery is nothing more than a brilliant writer using every possible bit of mythology to add seeming credibility to his own fictional story/new mythology. The inclusion of Judeo-Christian aspects, which as Pastor Wright stated is more Judeo that Christian, was intentional just as the use of all the other mythologies.

And to that I add that my belief is Tolkien did not hold any more to the mythology he was creating than to all the mythology he borrowed. Granted I have not done much hunting to find any outside reference to Tolkien's Christianity, but to assume J.R.R. Tolkien was a Christian simply because he was so closely associated with a great defender of the faith, C.S. Lewis, is fantasy (pun intended). (I would love to be proved wrong on Tolkien's beliefs.)

What we have in Tolkien then is a "fantastic" author and some classic literature. And though some will disagree with Pastor Wright and say, "If you're not for God, you ARE against God," I respectfully disagree. The cause of Christ is neither advanced nor hindered by reading Tolkien's myths.
Brian Terrell

Subject: Atlantis_The_Lost_Empire
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001
From: Brian

Mr. David Bruce,
First, I ran across HollywoodJesus almost by accident a month ago. But, I am very glad I did. These reviews are great and I enjoy the reviewers takes on the Christian messages within the movies. I agree with a lot and disagree with others, but it is never anything major (So true).

Second, having just read through the Atlantis bulletin Board, I'm a bit taken back. We have well meaning people upset over references to "New Age" and Wiccan philosophies. Um...that's part of being in the world. Recognizing it and not believing it is not being OF the world. And while I admire your stance that God does love all, I felt you were a bit harsh. But that's my opinion. (Yeah, perhaps I was)

I do think there are groups out there that may consider themselves witches and have nothing to do with Wicca. (So true) Jesus died for them, too. I also believe there are cults that despise all that resembles Christianity. Jesus died for them, too. (So true) And I believe there are people who are scared of what could be, might be and in some cases is out there and have nothing but good intentions to protect themselves, their families and others. Jesus died for them, too (So true).

Well, enough of my soap box. Can't wait to see the hub-bub from Harry Potter though (So true).
Thank you, Brian Terrell

Subject: Newsletter 27
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001
From: Woody

David, I enjoyed your web site a great deal, but I do disagree with you concerning certain matters. I think you're way off-base with your criticisms of Kinkade's artwork. I think his work is uplifting, and he doesn't need to get "in touch with reality" to be effective. (Effective? Hmm, well, yes effective marketing perhaps)

Also, I wouldn't criticize people, Christian or other-wise for watching R-rated movies because I watch them from time to time myself. I do think, however, that we need to show discernment concerning what we allow in. You totally butchered the scripture passage when you said Christ said, "It is what comes from us that makes us unclean, and not what we take in...." Well, the context of this was in terms of food (the teachers of the law holding on to legalism), not what we watch or to what we listen. (Same difference. Jesus meant this in a broad context as verse 21 points out)

In closing, I think your site is a valuable resource, especially for those that are seeking TRUTH. (Thank you) But, in expressing Christian love, we must never forget that right is always right, and wrong is always wrong. We are to never tell anyone that they are going to hell because God will ultimately decide that, but when people are living in compromise to God's Word, we can't just tell them it is okay either. There MUST BE balance in our message as we reach out to the lost and dying world around us.
In Him, Woody

Subject: JesusMiniSeries
Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2001

I checked again at Lion's Gate (Trimark) about the release of the International version of "Jesus". Originally it was to be this year. It seems it has been put into the TBA file. I was told maybe Easter2002. If eveyone who wrote into Hollywood Jesus wrote to or called Lion's Gate Entertainment maybe they'd move on this.

Response: Yes, everyone write Lion's Gate Entertainment. This is a good idea. -David

Subject: PI
Date: Sun, 05 Aug 2001
From: Gökhan

Hello to all out there! Nature is, numbers are not. Numbers are !inventions! by the product of the nature (us). Why should there exist a code for higher spiritual existings in such a primitive way like a ending number sequence? All superb ratio's and hidden meanings are the interpretation of us. We !!want!! to find something like a meaning, thats why we seek and find answers which we created on our own. They are not existing and are not an !!intrinsic!! element of nature. You can select randomly a number and a set of arithmetic operations to gain some "interesting" ratio's. So numbers are out to express our model of things... We make them. They are not existing without our interpretation. So numbers can't be the language of nature. bye

Subject: Message from Kimberly Ellis
Date: Sat, 04 Aug 2001
From: Kimberly Ellis

Hello - I would like to compliment you on how nice your website is. Thanks so much!
Sincerely, Kimberly Ellis,
Abstract watercolor artist www.geocities.com/beloved1angel/ellisabstractwatercolors.html belovedlotus@earthlink.net

Subject: Newsletter #27
live your faith
Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2001
From: kim

Oh, boy- where to begin.... by saying that Thomas Kincade 'art' is Classic Christian Cultism? It's one example of bubble-gum, popcorn, yummy-warm-and-fuzzy, please leave out the substance, don't make me think- thinking is against the movement of the Spirit. When I first started going to church a number of years ago, a well-meaning friend bought me a "straight" coat, presumably so I wouldn't embarrass myself in the Christian crowd by wearing a jacket that was obviously secular in appearance. I went through a look-alike, think-alike phase, meanwhile feeling very unworthy and inadequate. I listened to only contemporary Christian music and read strictly Christian novels. I FELT ANCHORED, BUT NOT LOVED. I felt that the World was a horrible place, and that I must insulate myself to survive it.

Wow. It didn't last long. I realized that I couldn't practice the principles Jesus laid down for us and live that way, as a fake. I was becoming incredibly judgmental and increasingly unhappy. Just headline that: Baby Christian Gets Sidetracked. Then the Spirit got through to me. I got back to the original lesson that I am to love other people, just as they are. That's really easy to do as long as I'm not judging them, or myself.

What I've learned is that it's fear that motivated me to insulate myself - fear that I would lose my faith in God if I didn't, as if He had nothing to do with creating me and guiding me and loving me. I'm not backsliding, I'm growing in the Lord, who strengthens me, and teaches me, daily. I love Christian music, and still love jazz and blues, too. I hang out with Christians, and with those who need the Lords touch in their lives, too. I'm not afraid of being influenced by worldly things, I just hope the Lord can touch worldly people through me. A poster at my home quotes St. Francis of Assisi: Preach the gospel to all the world and, if necessary, use words. Everyone is different for a reason, so we can be useful to God in different ways. Jesus said we should be in the world, but not of it. That requires thinking. Thanks for letting me rant!

Response: Excellent. Powerful. I can only hope your words will help people understand the problem of fear that cripples us, and judgmental attitudes that harms others. -David

Subject: My Top Films
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2001
From: KFries

I love the Ted Turner Films.
David stands out above the other films.

Forrest Gump,

Life Is Beautiful

Jesus (CBS).

Jesus of Nazirith.

Extreme Days (soon to be realesed).

Untamed Heart.

Empire Of The Sun.

A Sure Thing.

I know there are more but I can't think of them right now.

Subject: AI Artificial Intelligence
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2001
From: Mark Lambert, Dallas, Texas bonnie_lambert@sil.org

Dear David,
This is most certainly Spielberg's movie, but, as the critic for the Dallas Morning News noted in his review, Spielberg stayed remarkably faithful to Kubrick's vision until the point where time leaps forward 2000 years. Then, Spielberg essentially undoes what Kubrick was trying to say with his bittersweet ending.

Kubrick was an atheist and a cynic. He surely saw the plot line of a robot trying to be human as one of ultimate futility, and, as I see it, he would have left poor David in his futuristic helicopter (with or without Teddy) saying prayers to a plaster statue for all eternity. Upon giving this possible ending a great deal of thought, it occurred to me that this was a Kubrickian parable of man's quest for God. David is totally alone (forget about Teddy - a Spielbergian addition) saying prayers (as the narrator states) to a carnival statue whom he is convinced will transform him to a being worthy of love. Pure, absolute futility. The joke's on David - he never will be what he desperately wants to be.

By leaping forward in time and bringing in former cast members from Close Encounters, Spielberg gets David as close to his realization as he can without remaking Pinocchio. I must admit it got me when the camera panned away from the bed containing the dying Monica and the dreaming David and Teddy hopped up on the end, but I still feel that the plot was violated.

What I got from this is that I should be careful not to treat Jesus like a plaster blue fairy who will make me something I can never be (or something that I already am, completely loved by my Creator). He DOES hear my prayers, and he DOES care about what happens to me. Kubrick got it wrong, and he now knows this.
Mark Lambert, Dallas, Texas bonnie_lambert@sil.org

Subject: You Can Count On Me
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2001
From: Tee Jay. from Michigan

Your review by Simon Remark does mention that Sammy needs grace. However, is it being adequately relayed by Father Ron (played by the author-director K. Lonergan)? Just curious about you opinion,
Tee Jay. from Michigan

Subject: In Gods Hands
Date: Sat, 04 Aug 2001
From: "O.G.Ahlen"

I Loved this film! Just fresh and Great! However I cannot find the musical references played at the beginning of the film when they escape the prison and land in the ship where they play cards...it says "ain't no rain in sunshine...put your hands up" anyone please help me to find out this track! I loooove it! thanx in advance! mail me: mailto: ahlen@yahoo.com

Subject: Music Reviews
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2001
From: Jacquelyn

Hello~ I'd love to see your thoughts on Dido and her debut CD 'No Angel'. She's quickly become my favorite singer and the CD, well, my favorite CD. I'd be curious to see your opinion on it. ~Jacquelyn

Subject: Newsletter #27
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2001
From: Steve

Your article is utter hogwash.. and Dan Cramer's comments are justifying his desire to sin! Ps 101:3 3 I will set before my eyes no vile thing NIV

Response: Gosh Steve, how insightful of you to know, as only God would know, the real intent of Steve's heart. And how, good of you to identify the true meaning of hogwash. In terms of Ps 101:3, perhaps this has more to do with placing false gods before our eyes (set before my eyes = devotion. Cross reference Ps. 40:4). As in the same sense as Hebrews 12:2 ("looking to Jesus"). Certainly Paul in Acts 17:16-34 was fouced on Jesus even though he was viewing idols. Any way, thanks for all your judgements. Refreshing, some how. I am curious, Do you have many friends? -David

Subject: Planet of the Apes
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2001
From: HB

I want to say that as far as the "rampant anti-religious bias" is in some people eyes, I saw something different. When slaves were brought from Africa to America they were brutalized and raped by many people who claimed to be Christian. We have glorified one such narrow, bigoted, prejudiced, and brutal man who kept slaves and raped slaves and fathered illegitimate children with slaves by putting him on our currency that we use everyday.

I don't think the intention of the movie is to show religious people in a negative light but rather to show the age old principle "one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch." When Jesus returned from the grave he forgave those who turned against him, he understood they were misled. Just as Mark Walburg forgave the Apes who tried to kill him. We need to look at the flip side, Mark Walburg was leading his people to hope (so he thought) and when he arrived he found there was no tangible hope, no ship, and no other people to save him. He realized that he was the hope (maybe Christ himself) and he had to lead his people to salvation. He had to turn the hearts of his oppressors.

I know that some people saw the PETA aspect but I saw more parallels with the slave movement. We are talking about people in the movie, not animals, and we were talking about people when we spoke of slaves, not animals. But they were treated the same way. As if they had no souls, as if they were evil, and as if they deserved to be brutalized for the profit of others.

Bestiality? I think the whole reason they threw in the term "human lover" is to show yet another parallel with people who formed the slave movement. Ephetats of "nigger lover" were shouted at people who rose in favor of slaves.

I think the Moses parallel is great as well. I think the overall theme in my eyes was the Civil War. The Lincoln monument was the clincher for me as well at the end.

Subject: Dyan_Cannon
Date: Sat, 04 Aug 2001
From: Tom Schiavone

I praise God, and rejoice over your salvation! It is an awesome thing to see how God can take a life and do great and awesome things; it is important to always make sure God gets ALL the glory; we need to male sure we never mislead people; we are INSTRUMENTS He uses, but it is JESUS who does the work! I would like to know what church you attend(It's important to be in a bible believing fellowship)! I may be coming out to L.A. soon; how can I find out when you will have your Bi-monthly service? Again, I am most heartened by what God is doing in you!

Love, peace, joy, contentment, in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Your brother in Christ;
Tom Schiavone
godsmantom (Online Name)

Subject: AI_Artificial_Intelligence
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001
From: Tom Snyder

Ultimately, I think this movie negates faith because the Blue Fairy turns out to be a sham, unreal. Also, since David is programmed to love, the love he feels is not really real. And, the mother at the end was just another mecha, realistically speaking, so the ending also was somewhat of a sham. Finally, the movie violated the Three Laws of Robotics, which would have ensured that David did not endanger himself or his brother. Of course, then, they would have had to change the rest of the story. Therefore, I found the movie to be poor science fiction. On another note, the mother did not carelessly abandon David; she wanted to protect him from the other people, who would have taken David and destroyed him, because he almost killed his brother.
Tom Snyder

Response: Or, you could think of the Blue Fairy as an icon in the same class as the Virgin Mary. -David


Subject: Newsletter#26
Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001
From: William S

Dear David
Thanks for your wonderful site. I am refreshed to find a 'real' Christian site like yours. Your assessments of today's culture are good to read.

I too know churches like the one where you were asked not to come back. I used to pastor a congregation where the main players would have treated you in the same way. That's why that particular congregation is dying. Any time I used contemporary illustrations from movies, tv and so on I would get the evil eye and would sometimes get questioned as to why I would use such 'secular' illustrations in church.

I have now recently taken over at another church (same denomination), but so far have not encountered any similar behaviour. This Sunday will be my 7th at this church and this week I will be preaching about our involvement as citizens on this planet, using 1 John 2:15-17 as my text. I will probably tell them that if they are looking for me to give them a set of legalistic guidelines as to what they can or cannot do then they will be disappointed. If they truly are saved then they need to use their own discernment in accordance to what they believe is God's will for their lives as individuals.

I don't get to see many movies at the theatre these days as we have very young children, but I try to see them on video when they come up. As a pastor I think it's very important to see something before I comment on it. Too many 'Christian' leaders have let us down in this regards. My oldest child, now just over 2, enjoys 'The Teletubbies', something she wouldn't have been able to if we had paid attention to Jerry Falwell. It was embarrassing watching him on Politically Incorrect trying to backtrack on his comments about Tinky Winky being gay after having to admit that he had never actually watched it. 'Teletubbies' is actually a very good show for toddlers and, as we have seen, can help in their development in such areas as interaction and speech, to name but two.

When people get too judgemental and start questioning me on my beliefs and ideas I point them to 'What's So Amazing About Grace' by Philip Yancey and tell them to come back to me after they have read it. If that does nothing for them then I'm not sure what will.

I appreciated your top 100+ list recently, there's some great movies in there and some I have not yet seen. My top 5 would be as follows:

1. The Mission

2. Braveheart

3. The Deer Hunter

4. The Blues Brothers

5. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Of course that can change, but that's me at the moment. 'The Simpsons' is not a movie (obviously!), but that would be amongst my favourites as far as tv goes. You should see the faces on some of my contemporaries when I sometimes wear a Simpsons t-shirt to denominational conferences or meetings, but that's another story! I shouldn't bore you any further. Keep up the good work, we need more people like you willing to live out their Christianity in the way that you do.
God bless William S.

Response: Thank you. I really appreciat what you are saying. -David

Subject: Newsletter#26
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001
From: Tom Snyder

I like some R-Rated Movies very much, including THE GREEN MILE and THE MATRIX, but scientific studies do show that the depiction of violence and sexuality in movies and TV can affect people, including making them commit violent crimes and sexual crimes, such as rape. But, I must say that I would like GREEN MILE and MATRIX even more without the graphic electrocution scene, the foul language and the scene where Neo gratuitously kills a bunch of uniformed security guards.

Oh, and by the way, Jesus never said that we are not to judge other people; the whole thrust of his argument was that we should judge justly, using the Word of God. Man does not live by bread alone, etc. (Deut. 3:8). Also, when we condemn other people for judging other people, we are violating the Law of Non-Contradiction, because we have just used our judgment for judging those very same people, so we are guilt of doing what they did. The better response to people is to tell them that we think they are judging unfairly or unjustly, according to the principles of the Word of God.
Tom Snyder

Response: Good point. There is always a kinder way of saying something that builds a bridge, and does not throw rocks. -David

Subject: jp3
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001
From: Taisha

um, except it was just really dinosaurs eating people....


Subject: Newsletter #27
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001
From: Bicwyzer

Hello David thanks for the info. When will the 'Paul' review be completed, do you have any airing times for the US yet?
God bless Abu Joshua
"The way of the fool seems right to him" - Proverbs
Web: www.geocities.com/athens/agora/4014

Response: I should get on this one. Thanks for the reminder. -David

Subject: Newsletter #27
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001
From: Geoffrey Dennis

I just read your analysis of "The Kinkade Problem" and then read your review of Legally Blonde. I noticed that what you criticize Kinkade for you embrace in Legally Blonde. (Kinkade is isolation from the real world, and Legally Blonde is about "being in the world")

"Legally Blonde Review by David Bruce: Everyone in the theater seemed happy watching this film. And that is what makes this film so compelling. It is saturated with compelling optimism and happiness. It is a delightful film that makes you smile..."

Isn't that what Kinkade's artwork does as well? (Yes, you are right. But the issue is not smiles) He is not painting "Christian" paintings, he is painting sentimental paintings (Very true). He is doing what you supported Legally Blonde in doing creating artwork that makes you smile (again the issue is not smiling). Just as you implied that there is no harm in doing that for Legally Blonde, there should be no harm in doing that in art. It seems like you criticism is leveled inconsistently. (No, the issue is isolation. In Legally Blonde the main character never gives up on the world. She hangs in there with a smile and gains the victory. Kinkades gives up on the real worl and creates something that does not connect with life as we know it) Granted, Kinkade has painted some "spiritual" paintings, but your criticism seems to be leveled at his other work. By the way, when will you have a review for the movie "Memento?" (It is reviewed. Great post modern film)

Geoffrey Dennis Vice President,
Outreach Ministries Good News Publishers/Crossway Books
(630) 682-4300 Phone
(630) 682-4785 Fax

Response: Always good to hear from you Jeff. I remember our times in South Chicago -establishing transitional housing for homeless and abused women with children. Reaching out for those who needed a hand. -David

Subject: Newsletter #27
Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001
From: Perrianne Brownback Azle, Texas

Well done handling of a controversial subject. I had a personal revelation while reading the section on "Blaming the Wrong Things." I realized that art and music are mirrors of our culture, not dictators to it. How ridiculous it suddenly seemed to me to blame art and music for being accurate mirrors of a society that has perhaps disintegrated because of a passive church! If we as the people of God have offered no more creativity than we have, shall we blame the artists for reflecting the emptiness--or for searching and expressing that search??? For years I have felt that songs (I think of Matchbox 20's "Bent" and many others) and art expresses the cries of a people searching for truth. They mirror the culture.

A great example is the Dadaist movement earlier in this century. The average Christian looks at Dadaism and repeats what they have heard someone else say: "That's not art! That's of the devil." Ironically, the dadaists had as their very motive the expression of the emptiness they felt in a post-war society. They were trying to hold up a mirror to society and say, "This is what we see."

That is not to say that all art must have that motive, but all art does mirror who we are. Even Kincade. As an artist, I believe he paints from an inner vision I respect. It's not the art--in my view--that is the dilemma. Rather, it is the attitude of Christians sentimentally promoting it as, "Now we can have some art, too." Maybe he paints the ideal--that has a place too. Creed sings, "Can you take me higher--to a place with golden streets..." Let Kincade's cottages beam the light of home and family, etc.--just let Christians wake up and look at the things hanging beside that painting--let them see a few Dali's or Edward Munch's "The Scream" juxtaposed. And more than that, let them SHAKE OFF THEIR OWN FEAR of being "contaminated" by the world.

If you ask me, that--FEAR--is the root of it. Hebrews describes "so great a salvation," but to many Christians it is still a tenuous, shaky salvation. Let us finally delve into how really huge salvation is--big enough to walk through museums with honest hearts and wake up to our own culture--big enough to look in the mirror and love instead of cringe.
Perrianne Brownback Azle, Texas

Response: I agree. Fear is a powerful enemy. Thank you for your insightful thoughts. -David

Subject: Newsletter #27
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001
From: Taisha

While I agree with your over all assessment of the problem of isolation Christianity, I have to say that I didn't even know that Kinkade WAS a Christian until I read your article. I don't think that he is trying to give anyone the idea that through Christ you will receive a blissful life, I think that he just paints landscapes because he's good at it. Bob Ross did the same thing. You never saw people in his paintings because he sucked at drawing people. That may sound a little ignorant, but I assure you, people don't buy his paintings with the pursuit of Christianity in mind. They buy them because of escapism (much like classic films of the 30's-50's), and for a status symbol in their homes.

Personally, I don't like his style and I would never buy his paintings. I would, however, spend a fortune on a Todd McFarlane action figure, or a tattoo by Sam Keith of "The Maxx" fame. This is because I find personal value and meaning in their writing and characters. Todd McFarlane, by the way, has said to be a Christian.

Okay, to sum up what was not supposed to be an angry e-mail, I believe that art is a very personal form of expression. One in which both the artist and the viewer can attach different meanings. Where Kinkade sees beauty and family, you see isolation and misrepresentation.
Please feel free to e-mail me at toodlesmrjim@hotmail.com
Thank you, Taisha

Response: Actually when I see Kinkade I think of an amazing marketing machine that rakes in mega dollars on so-so art. -David

Subject: Newsletter #27
Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2001
From: Thom

I wanted to take a moment to say hi. I really appreciate your newsletters and the Hollywood Jesus site (I even linked to it from my site). It's been a hard push in my life...often seeing positives in films my fellow Christians are tearing apart. Just last night a friend and I were discussing American Pie...for all it's failures, there are some strong moments in that film. I look at my DVD collection and see a cross section...all four of the Kevin Smith films, American Pie, the Abyss, Akira, Halloween, Se7en, Pumpkinhead, the Stand, Die Hard trilogy, the Scream trilogy, Fight Club and so on. Plenty of films deemed to violent, to sexual and so on. In fact, I often just don't let people see my video/DVD collection...I get tired of explaining it.

But you have given me hope as an aspiring screenwriter (sorry-but I will not write Christian screenplays for Christian production companies...to limiting) that some Christians may "get it". Thanks for the edification.
Happy Fool Notions:

Response: Go for it. May God bless you as a screen writer. -David

Subject: Newsletter_27- Disengagement
Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001
From: Bouwhouws

We live in an age where there are many Christians who are in the arts completely cut off not only from the larger culture but also from each other. There are far more Christians in positions of power and influence in our world than we are aware of. Why must we all beat our tiny little drums alone? Why aren't we networking and creating a potent force to be reckoned with? Why don't Christians of like mind help each other out to create films, paintings, books, theater, music and dance of substance? Why are we so full of ourselves that we can't work as a collective whole? We spend to much time whining! Forget about Kinkade and others! His work is vacuous and empty. There is good work out there! No one knows about it because we don't talk and work together!

Response: Good point. -David

Subject: Newsletter_27
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001
From: Marianne Savell

Hi, Please check out our "Show Me Something New!" Writer's Creativity Conference at: www.Inter-Mission.net
We'd love your people to know about it and come!
Marianne Savell
Act One: Writing For Hollywood

You are on Comments page 100
Index to all the comments May 03 to Sep 12, 2001
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